Thursday, July 31, 2008

Houstons (3 forks/$23pp)

Houston's food never disappoints. After close to a hundred meals there, I can attest that Houston's serves consistently good food. And, their service is remarkable. It is the standard by which I measure other restaurants. Consistently good food. Consistently good service. Consistently comfortable atmosphere. And today's lunch was no exception.

My grilled mahi-mahi sandwich was well-seasoned and moist. As I bit in, with the juices running down my hands, I noted to myself that this was a perfectly cooked fish. The chef's special sauce on the sesamed bun is a pumped-up tartar sauce, with dill. Two large perfect and tasty tomato slices made an already messy sandwich even messier, but even more delicous as well. The accompanying french fries are worth a trip in themselves. Why are they so good? I can't tell. The oil, the potato, what, what?!?!? All I know is that they define what I want in a french fry, thin, crispy but not too crispy, and salted just right. They are irresistable. Needless to say, I polished off my entire meal (and practically licked the plate). Pity, because Houston has a killer chocolate brownie topped with nuts.

If you are not a fish person, no problem. The best Houston's sandwich, and sadly most calorie-laden, is a cheeseburger. The best cheeseburger! I am not a burger person, but when I want a burger, these are the burgers I want. They are thick, moist, tasty, and most importantly, not disgusting, like so many other burgers are. The Thai Steak and Noodle Salad, one of several salads on the menu, has the most addictive dressing I have ever tasted. It is spicy and loaded with basil and cilantro, two of my favorite herbs. The chunks of mango in the salad are hidden jewels that you don't want to share with your lunch date. I also frequently order the Veggie Plate, which has 2 vegetables of the day and your favorite starch. I always opt for the spicy flavorful black beans with brown rice, rather than the standard couscous.

Houstons is probably most famous for its unbeatable Spinach Artichoke Dip. I have been known to order this just for myself, it is so good. The Chilled Shrimp starter offers a dozen or so large shrimp boiled and chilled and served with the Chef's tasty tartar sauce and a cocktail sauce.

If Houston's has any problem, it is in the pricing. I understand Houston's is good, but do I really have to pay $20 for a grilled fish sandwich with fries and an ice tea? This is no gourmet restaurant and I don't want to pay gourmet prices! For that reason alone, Houstons is a once-in-a-while place instead of a regular.

Check out the menu here

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